Reflections on summer 2020 reveal new market trends

Throughout the years, tourists from the UK and Ireland have played a huge part in the tourism boom in the Algarve. While they still do so, the events of 2020 have seen many people unable to travel due to quarantine rules upon return to their country.

Portugal has had quite the ride over the last month alone, with a much-needed addition to the UK travel corridor list snatched away not long after. However, things are beginning to shift, and the Algarve can truly benefit from the changing face of travel that we are seeing.

A spike in enquiries from across Europe
The summer of 2020 has played out in a way none of us could have expected. As quarantine restrictions were enforced by the UK and Ireland governments, our villa owners would have been forgiven for fearing the worst. But this has not been the case …

Due to a rise of the ‘staycation’ this year and aggressive internal marketing, we saw a 576% increase in enquiries from Portuguese nationals. Furthermore, there was a 667% increase in enquiries from the German market and increased interest from other European countries. This has brought into sharp focus the need to be adaptable and dynamic – so, how do we achieve this?

Adapting to the changing travel trends
This rising trend is a positive one and means the Algarve can continue to flourish and welcome tourists like no other place can. Seeing new demographics and nationalities show interest in the region gives us a new chance … but we must adapt immediately.

The approach and response to this crisis is different in every country. The messaging and the way we frame the Algarve as a safe destination should be universal, though understanding how new types of guests react and engage will all come down to marketing efforts.

These efforts need to be dynamic and the net needs to be cast wider than before. Targeted campaigns, informative content and regular updates are just some of many ways we are keeping the Algarve in the minds of global tourists. With a reservations team fluent in over six languages, we want to continue in being accessible to everyone – by extension, the Algarve will remain accessible too.

We have also seen another spike in guests wanting to book ‘SandyBlue longer stays’ – already, there have been many bookings made throughout October, November, December and into the New Year. With more potential guests able to work remotely, it is important to highlight that this is more than doable here in the sanctuary of the Algarve.

Keeping momentum going
Making these small changes to our approach will make a huge difference. We believe this diversification of guests will continue in years to come. Laying the foundations now and showing the Algarve to be the beautiful and safe place it has always been will really see the region become the hottest destination globally.

By Joe Mountain
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Joe Mountain is founder of Algarve villa rental specialists SandyBlue.
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